What’s Up with Amtrak Food Service?

When it comes to food service on Amtrak trains, confusion abounds. All the statements coming out of Amtrak over the past year or so are part of the problem because most of us assume, probably correctly, that each was carefully crafted and approved by upper level management to make it all sound better than it really is.

But here’s what we think is going to happen  . . . and when . . . and on which trains:

Traditional dining cars will go back into service on western trains on June 23rd, which just happens to be today! 

It may not happen on all western trains on the same day, but that was the announced plan for when it was going to start.

To me, “western trains” means the Empire Builder, the California Zephyr, the Southwest Chief, the Sunset Limited and the Coast Starlight.

And supposedly there have been additions to the menu—including traditional railroad French toast for breakfast.

It’s my understanding that the dining car experience, as is now being touted by the Amtrak people, will not only include meals prepared on board, but meals served on real china. Imagine that! I’ll be able to order a steak dinner, and a half bottle of merlot that will be poured into a real wine glass. I mean a glass glass!

I guess the Amtrak powers-that-be are due some congratulations, although a lot of us have been telling them that frozen/microwaved meals would never be accepted by real rail fans. 

Now the real work begins: supporting the people at Amtrak who made this happen because, in the modern corporate world, it’s a rare thing for a company to take a leap of faith of this magnitude and do the right thing!


  1. I find your “real railfan” comment highly unhelpful. That service was not acceptable to PASSENGERS. Railfans will whine about anything that is not the 20th Century Limited, and find ways of sinking it. Passengers come to rail and ride the rails because of good service, the flexible dining fiasco has nothing to do with railfans.

  2. China will come around in a few months, Amtrak has not been able to procur it on a large scale yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.